P4- Describe the Role of Lay People in Criminal Cases

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P4- describe the role of lay people in criminal cases
D1- evaluate the effectiveness of lay people in English courts

Introduction

Lay people are people who don’t get paid and who are not qualified; they are volunteer’s, lay people in the law are the magistrate and the jury and I will be explaining their role and the advantages and disadvantages of having lay people get involved with the legal system.

The Magistrate

A magistrate is some one who is not paid or is qualified and is only seen in the magistrate’s court which oversees summary criminal cases (magistrate hears about 96% of all criminal cases).

To become a magistrate you must apply however not everyone can apply, you can not apply if you have a criminal record, if you are under the age of 18 or over 65 as they retire at 70 and as a magistrate you r expected to serve for at least 5 years. If you can apply you must go through an interviewing process to see if you have the right quality’s to become a magistrate. The quality’s that are required are; honest and fair, trusted by others, plenty of time, understand document or evidence, communicate effectively, sense of fairness and are mature. When you do become a magistrate you must work for at least 13 days, or 26 half-days, a year. However before the person starts work they do have some training, they also have a responsibility to notify if there is any conflict or interest in a case and to turn it down.

The magistrate’s jurisdiction can grant bail if police refuse they can also prosecute up to £5,000 or 12 months in jail to a individual person (21 years of age you can go to a proper jail) if it a company they can prosecute up to £20,000. People at the age 10 to 17 who have committed crimes go to the youth court to be trailed.

In the magistrates court there is a clerk which is fully trained, there role is to advise the magistrate about the law and procedures and if the sentence the magistrate has given is not satisfactory then the...
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